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CHAMPAIGN — The Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District wants to levy nearly 20 percent more in property taxes for next year, but the increase is largely a placeholder for additional money the district stands to collect if Urbana hospital properties become taxable.

The MTD board of trustees approved a resolution setting the property-tax levy at $10,616,433 in a 6-1 vote Wednesday, with new board member Phil Fiscella voting no. The board will vote on a final levy ordinance in December.

The levy increase for taxes payable next year is about $1.76 million over the levy set for 2018 taxes that were payable this year.

MTD Managing Director Karl Gnadt said it’s important to note the increase for next year is intended to create room in the levy to collect possible taxes from the hospitals, and it isn’t a percentage increase on individual home and business properties.

Properties belonging to OSF Heart of Mary Medical Center and Carle Foundation Hospital may or may not become taxable, subject to how current litigations play out in the courts.

“We have a variable that we don’t have an answer to,” Gnadt said.

Gnadt said he didn’t anticipate the local hospitals being added to the tax rolls this year, but the levy increase is to be prepared if that should happen.

News-Gazette